You may be asking “Why are you reading a book that was published 25 years ago and has a very successful movie to tell you everything you need to know?” Well.. One: I love the movie so, naturally, I am going read the book. Two: I am doing a 2015 book challenge and one of the challenges is to read a book that was published the year I was born. And three: because who doesn’t love dinosaurs 🙂
I don’t think I need to do much of a synopsis with this book, about 80% of people know the gist of what Jurassic Park is about but don’t worry, I’ll do a short one and get to the good stuff! Cloning has always been a mystery to scientists and there have been many different theories on how to do it and what to do it on. John Hammond has a lot of scientists at his command and a lot of money. He wants to create a world that hasn’t been around for millions of years, he wants to clone dinosaurs. And he succeeds. He builds a park so people from all over the world can come experience them. Experts from America are the first to tour the island but once their wonderment wears off, they see how big of a cost this park really is.
I couldn’t get enough of this book, I just couldn’t put it down! I have watched the movie over and over since I was a kid (and even saw it when it was in IMAX a year ago) so I thought I would know everything that would/could happen and that there was no need to pick up the book. I am so glad I was wrong and bought it. The book is much better than the movie in so many ways; plot holes are filled, major characters die, there is a lot of mystery as well as stressful situations. Even though I have seen the movie hundreds of time, this book still gave me twists and story lines that the movie left out which kept me thoroughly engaged in reading. The movie will always be my favorite but the book blew me away.
My favorite aspect of this book is that it was so thrilling and real. I think the movie helped me imagine everything better but the descriptions of events made my eyes go wide and heart race. The T-Rex attack was frightening, the raptors stressed me out because they were so quick, smart and scary (just like the movie). Then the plot twist where they find out the park was never under their control was enough to make me gasp out loud. I’ll get to that more in a minute though… Stay tuned!
It is definitely different from the movie, some events are different or they weren’t even in the movie. These were interesting to me because they all added to the story and made me wonder why they didn’t make the cut for the movie.
I really liked how this book started out, very mysteriously which raised a lot of questions for me as well as the characters. In the movie, we start out with workers trying to move a raptor into its cage which didn’t go well and someone gets killed. In the book, we actually don’t see the raptor attack, we just see the after effects of the victim being rushed to a clinic and excuses being made about what happened to the guy. Then, a small girl gets attacked by 2 foot tall lizards on a secluded beach, which we see in the start of the second movie Jurassic World. Like the movie, we don’t see any dinosaurs until Dr. Grant, Ellie, and Malcolm get to the island. The mystery vibe runs through the whole book and I loved it. It made for a wild, riveting read.
The movie follows the story and characters pretty well. There are a few changes, some are minor and some either answer reader questions or leave us with no answer. A plot hole that was a big one for me was the sick Triceratops. In the movie, we are left with the question of what made her so sick? Well, the book answers that for us instantly and I have no clue why that little detail wasn’t put into the movie. For the record, it wasn’t a Triceratops that was sick, it was a Stegosaurus.
Another big thing that differs in the movie was the loss of control. The movie portrays that they lost control of the part when the power was shut down and the animals were no longer contained. The book reveals that the park and the animals were never under control, that they lost all control when they released the dinosaurs into their respective paddocks. Hammond and his scientists thought through some genetic engineering and manipulation, they could completely control breeding and make all the animals dependent on lysine which they could only get from their feeders in the park. (Meaning they couldn’t survive more than 12 hours off the island without that chemical to function.) WRONG. The ending of the book proved that they could survive on another island by eating local beans and chickens which were rich in lysine. Thus leading into the second book and answering the question about the sequel movie: how did they get onto a different island? That question I am sure will be answered in the next book! “Life always finds a way” -Ian Malcolm
Now, for the things I did not like about the book. There are few so this section should be short. I hated Lex. She was so annoying and acted like a little brat the whole flipping book. All she did was complain, whine and not do what she was told like to be quiet when the Rex was near. I almost dreaded reading parts of the book with her in it because she bothered me that much, half the time I wanted to slap her. I am so glad they made her more adult in the movie because I don’t think I could have watched the movie if she was anything like she was in the book. I got the sense she was younger than Timmy in the book because he acted way more adult than she did and maybe I missed their ages or something like that. It was always burned into my mind that Lex was older and Timmy was younger because of the movie.
Hammond also annoyed me a bit in the book because he was more worried about the safety of his animals than the lives of the people on the island, including his grand kids. SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!! Hammond dies, which I was sort of glad for because in the end he finally realized he created dangerous beings that should have been left in the past.
Jurassic Park in a nutshell:
Addicting and a very fun read
Fast paced and action packed
Scientific and thought-provoking
One very annoying character that I hated
Overall: I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the movie. If you have seen it multiple times and are afraid you will be bored reading, I promise you definitely won’t be!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Up Next: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin